9 of the best vegan walking boots to buy in 2023
By choosing vegan walking boots, you can avoid contributing to animal cruelty, poor working conditions, contamination to waterways and even deforestation for cattle grazing. Here are the most promising boots out there now.
Across big brands and small businesses alike, there’s a huge range of vegan walking boots available to buy online - great news if you're trying to avoid buying animal-based footwear.
As creating leather shoes often involves damaging practices like animal cruelty and contaminating waterways with harsh chemicals, avoiding them can be a way to stop supporting harmful processes.
While many manufacturers swap their leather for non-biodegradable fabrics like polyurethane (PU), you’ll find lots of relatively eco-friendly alternatives like recycled tyres and cork. There are even highly innovative boots made with waste from cacti, coconuts and fruit and veg, like pineapples, bananas and mushrooms. The high street brand H&M has even created non-leather items from wine grapes.
Looking for a tried and tested recommendation? See our reviews of the best walking and hiking shoes and best walking boots.
The best vegan walking boots for 2023 you can buy online
Hi-Tec V-LITE Psych
Not only are these walking boots made without the use of animal products, the entire textile upper is made with responsibly sourced polyester from a recycled 380ml plastic bottle. The sole is rubber and comes with a moulded EVA midsole for plush yet lightweight cushioning.
As for the outside of the boot, there’s a V-Lite outsole, coated with a Dri-Tec waterproof membrane to provide great breathability while keeping your feet dry.
A durable, high-quality option, these vegan walking boots are recommended by The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme (DofE).
Scarpa Maverick Gore-Tex
Scarpa is a popular brand when it comes to walking boots. It sells a wide selection of leather models but this is its vegan-friendly offering, crafted from an innovative mix of non-leather textiles and other synthetic materials.
You’ll get a waterproof yet breathable Gore-Tex lining and a soft upper made with microfibre and technical fabric. The ‘crossover’ sole is finished with SuperGum Rubber for extra grip, and there’s a rubber toe guard to lend extra protection.
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The TPU heel insert and padded ‘autofit’ collar should make these boots comfortable on long hikes.
Adidas Terrex Skychaser 2 Mid Gore-Tex
Here’s another pair of vegan hiking boots made with repurposed waste products. To be specific, a quarter of materials on the breathable mesh upper are made with at least 50% recycled fabric from production waste like cutting scraps or household leftovers.
Cotton also makes up a significant portion of the outer skin, which is connected to a mud guard made from thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). There’s also a rubber outsole and waterproof Gore-Tex membrane to keep out mud and water.
On long walks, you’ll get plenty of cushioning, thanks to the ‘boost’ midsole, EVA stabilisation frame and elastic heel.
Merrell Moab Speed Mid Gore-Tex
Another pair of vegan hiking boots with impressive sustainability credentials, these ethical alternatives have a 100% recycled mesh lining, 100% recycled laces and a 50% recycled EVA insole top sheet. They also come with a grippy Vibram Ecostep sole, which is made with at least 30% recycled rubber.
Alongside the eco-friendly materials, these boots have a lightweight FloatPro Foam midsole and a mesh and TPU upper with a waterproof Gore-Tex membrane. For extra comfort, there’s a detachable PU foam insole and padded collar, and the toe cap and rock plate provide extra protection on uneven surfaces.
Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 Gore-Tex
These vegan walking boots prove non-leather footwear can be just as durable as their less ethical counterparts. They’re Inov-8’s “toughest ever hiking boots”, named “Footwear of the Year” by The Great Outdoors in 2020. Thanks to their hard-wearing materials and sturdy construction, they’re the ideal choice for challenging outdoor environments and rugged terrains.
The grippy sole is made from high-performing rubber with graphene, and designed with channels to disperse water in wet environments. The boots also have extra stack height and padded ankle collars to provide a good level of cushioning and support.
To protect against rocks and other sharp objects on rough ground, you get the flexible Meta-Plate Pro addition. Plus, there’s an added heel cage on the boot outer to keep your foot in position.
Tecnica Plasma S Mid Gore-Tex
The Tecnica Plasma S has several features to adapt to your feet and provide tailored support. It comes with a ‘Custom Adaptive Shape’ (CAS) upper with areas you can mould to your feet’s dimensions with heat, such as the ankle, arch and heel pocket. There’s also foot-wrapping technology to ease pressure across problem areas.
These vegan hiking boots also excel when it comes to grip. The rubber toe cap and Vibram Plasma sole with block-shaped lugs should give you extra traction, whether you’re running in poor weather conditions or scrambling over rocks.
Salewa Ultra Flex 2 Mid GTX
- Buy for men from Amazon (£105.52), Trekk Inn (£105.99) and Alpine Trek (£146.66)
With its flexible ankle collar and grippy ‘Pomoca Speed’ sole, this vegan walking boot is another practical option for hikes on rough terrain. You’ll get a dual density EVA foam footbed, as well as a removable Ortholite insole for added cushioning.
Also included in the design is Salewa’s 3F system, which links the instep and the sole for better support and freedom of movement around the ankle.
The brand finishes these boots with a Gore-Tex membrane and TPU coating to keep your feet dry and comfortable.
Arc'teryx Acrux TR GTX
- Buy for men from Alpine Trek (£215.55), LD Mountain Centre (£219.99) and Arc'teryx (£220.00)
- Buy for women from Alpine Trek (£215.55), Arc'teryx (£220.00)
While many vegan hiking boots focus on hard-wearing materials to cope with rough terrains, these are designed to be lightweight and easy to pack away for travelling. They also feature a sleek, minimalist look, thanks to their predominantly black aesthetic.
Despite their light weight, these boots can provide plenty of support and protection against the elements. Buy them and you’ll get ‘SuperFabric micro-plate’ technology and a moulded rubber toe cap, which limits the impact of scrapes and scuffs as you walk.
You’ll also be able to rely on stability support, thanks to the TPU chassis at the midfoot and forefoot. Plus, the EVA midsole gives you cushioning on long walks.
La Sportiva Trango Tower GTX
For distinctive design, you can’t beat La Sportiva’s Trango Tower boots. With their colourful look and high ankle, designed with ‘3D Flex’ for ease of movement, they’re a memorable set of vegan walking boots.
The upper features water-repellent nylon 6.6, finished with a rubber toe cap and reinforced zones to protect against abrasion. Inside the boots, you’ll get a breathable Gore-Tex lining for waterproofing and thermal insoles to regulate your temperature.
As for the base of the shoe, there’s an EVA midsole with toe and heel wedges for shock absorption. Plus, the brand’s Cube sole by Vibram includes different sized lugs to provide extra traction.
What are vegan walking boots?
Vegan hiking boots are made without using any animal products - but you'll need to look beyond the non-leather options to find them. Even 'synthetic' walking boots can contain animal-derived products like glue, dye and gelatine, while vegan shoes use plant-based alternatives.
Choosing vegan walking boots can also be a great way to avoid supporting manufacturing processes involving animal cruelty. Many plant-based footwear companies also champion ethical and eco-friendly working practices - although this isn't always the case, so it's worth doing a bit of research before you buy.
How to choose vegan hiking boots
It can be tricky to find out whether a shoe contains animal-derived products. So, when you choose a pair of vegan hiking boots, make sure it’s labelled as ‘vegan’ or has an official logo, like PETA’s stamp of approval. Taking this step will help you avoid buying non-leather shoes containing products created by boiling animal connective tissue or bones.
For more footwear options, see our full roundup of the best walking boots we’ve tested.
Drawing on a love of gardening and countryside walks, Alice works across Countryfile and Gardens Illustrated magazines to find and review the very best products for life in the great outdoors.
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